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How Equestrian Sport is fighting for its Olympic future?

by Maria Filimonenko
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It is no secret that the equestrian sport worries about its existence at the Olympics. Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, attends the world eventing championships. The venue aims to make a lasting impression.

The World Eventing Championships last weekend featured a number of forward-thinking events. One of the youngest riders in the lineup, Yasmin Ingham of Great Britain, 25, won the individual title. The World Championships, which were held at the Pratoni del Vivaro equestrian venue outside of Rome, marked her and her horse Banzai du Loir’s debut in a major international competition. Together, they demonstrated by their unexpected win that they are up to the challenge of even bigger projects, like the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

It is no secret that the equestrian sports of dressage, jumping, and eventing must strive to remain on the Olympic schedule. A horse was euthanized at the Tokyo Olympic Games after suffering a catastrophic injury during the cross-country test. While finishing the course, one horse was oozing blood from his nose. The sport’s representatives dislike that these reports and pictures are being made public.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), however, places importance on a discipline’s ability to spark interest and draw viewers to the televisions. For this reason, the World Eventing Championships announced a futuristic visit: The sport, which has been part of the Summer Olympics since 1912, was portrayed in his unique way by IOC President Thomas Bach. “I am very impressed by the many measures the FEI has taken to protect the welfare and health of horses,” Bach was quoted as stating in a statement released by the world equestrian federation, the FEI, following his visit. “I am pleased with everything the International Federation is doing to safeguard the future of the sport.”

The IOC president communicates with participants

According to Dennis Peiler, Sports Director of the German Equestrian Federation, Bach observed the full cross-country competition on Saturday and spent extensive time talking with FEI and rider representatives. “This wasn’t a quick tour. We considered his visit to be really appreciated.” The IOC President had witnessed the sport’s stunning and magnificent side. Peiler expressed the expectation that these perceptions will now be taken into consideration with a view to maintaining equestrian sport in the Olympic Games.

There is no doubt that the equestrian sport, including its disciplines — of dressage, show jumping, and eventing, will be an Olympic sport in 2024 in Paris. The program for 2028 also includes equestrian activities. However, it’s unknown what ends up happening next.

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine


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